Health and Illness Policies

The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center takes every care and precaution to ensure that serious accidents or sudden illness is avoided. The possibility of such, however, is always present regardless of how carefully an environment is supervised. The following information is provided to make you aware of the center’s action in case of illness, accidents or emergencies. Be sure we have a copy of your child’s insurance provider and current shot record. Review your information on the blue card twice a year and keep it up-to-date.


Upon enrollment parents must provide the child’s immunization record containing the information provided by a health care provider, stating that the child has received all current, age-appropriate immunizations required by the Pima County Health Department. If a parent chooses not to immunize the child, an exemption affidavit must be on file. Any child with immunization exemptions must be excluded from the center anytime a particular illness in present in the community per PCHD.

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Health Screenings

The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center conducts a yearly screening of the children’s vision and hearing. We also do an oral health screening upon enrollment.

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Ill children must be excluded from the center; this policy is strictly enforced to protect both the ill child and the other children. Any child who shows symptoms of illness during the day will have his or her temperature taken and be evaluated before parents are called. A prompt attempt will be made to reach the parents or other designated persons so that the sick child can be removed from the center. The child will be isolated from the other children by bringing the child to the office and being made comfortable on a cot until the parent arrives. Parents will be expected to pick up their ill child in a timely manner.

If a child is sent home from The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center due to illness, he or she may not return for 24 hours, they must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reduction medication, and they must not have thrown up for 8 hours after having eaten a meal. In other words, your child may not return to The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center until they are no longer ill; it is the parent’s responsibility to provide alternative care for their sick child until he or she is ready to return to The Sandbox.

Because childhood diseases are usually contagious before any symptoms appear, it is very important that parents inform the center if their child has been exposed to anything such as head lice, pin worms, strep throat, pink eye, impetigo, etc. The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center will administer prescription medication as well as over-the-counter medication, in its original, labeled container to children at 12:00 noon with a doctor’s written authorization.

Any other medication needs will require the parent to call the center to make specific arrangements.

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Accidents and Emergency Care

The severity of accidents and illnesses occurring among children will vary greatly. The procedure taken to deal with the appearance of a slight bruise or scratch will differ from that taken to deal with a broken bone, head injury or sudden severe illness. Regardless of the severity of the accident, the following procedures will always be taken:

  • The appropriate first/aid care will be immediately given by the staff and an assessment will be made
  • Parents will be called regarding the accident or illness if it appears to be more than a minor incident, such as slight scratch or bruise
  • Emergency health personnel will be contacted in cases of apparent broken bones, unconsciousness, and seizures or choking. All attempts will be made to contact the parent as well, but if the parent or emergency contacts cannot be reached, The Sandbox will decide on the best course of action for the health and safety of the child. In extreme cases, action may have to be taken before parental contact can be made; this will be done in accordance with specifications made by the parent on the blue emergency card, which must be updated on a regular basis.
  • The child will be supervised and cared for until he or she has been turned over to the parent, emergency contact or emergency health personnel.
  • An Accident Report will be written for all accidents that have been observed by a staff member, as well as documentation made in the office Accident Log.

Please be advised that the parent is responsible for any medical costs incurred due to an injury that occurs at The Sandbox. Your acceptance of this policy is noted at the bottom of the blue emergency contact card.

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Behavior and Conflict Management

Our program promotes a positive approach to managing the behavior of children. The Sandbox Learning Center classrooms are well-designed and well-equipped for each development level of the children involved, which helps to prevent frustration and interruptions. In addition, a daily routine with balance of play, active and quiet play areas, and smooth transitions help give our children a sense of security and control over their environment.

The Sandbox teachers make each child aware of classroom expectations, and frequently involve children in establishing classroom rules and regulations. Teachers are encouraged to problem solve with the children, to identify inappropriate behavior and to discuss what other, acceptable choices might be. Children are encouraged to use their words instead of their hands to solve problems, and are made aware that logical consequences are applied to inappropriate behavior.

When unacceptable behavior occurs, the basic procedure for all classrooms is redirection; find something else to do, find another spot in the room. Other acceptable alternatives may also be used, such as “time out,” but this is only used after the teacher has discussed the inappropriate behavior and the alternative choices the child might have made. There are times when a child will need to be removed from the group; the child will be informed that they may return to the group after displaying proper behavior. Any incident that cannot be managed through this last result method will result in a conference with the parent.

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Biting Policy

Biting happens! Toddlers in particular are subject to biting their playmates and being bitten by their playmates. Biting happens for many reasons, mainly a lack of verbal skills to express frustration and general teething. Unfortunately, biting can be dangerous and unpredictable, therefore, we ask for your cooperation and understanding in this area. Your child may be bitten and you must be prepared for this to happen in a group situation.

The Sandbox staff makes every effort to prevent biting. When a bite occurs, the parents of both the biter and the one bitten will be notified. Occasional biting is to be expected; should biting become excessive, the Director may require parents to find another child-care option.

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Parental Involvement/Communication

Parents will be informed of The Sandbox plans through posted weekly lesson plans, monthly computers, snack menus and special event notices posted on the classroom Parent Board, the Parent Information Board in the front office and informal conversations with the staff. Special events will also be posted next to the sign-in sign-out sheets and through occasional flyers sent home. Parents of infants will review and sign a daily report of food intake, diaper changing and the child’s sleeping patterns.

From time to time, teachers will communicate with parents of preschoolers via a handwritten note or a personal telephone call to discuss changes in a child’s behavior, health or eating habits. Parents will be informed of all field trips and be required to sign a permission slip for each trip. Parent/teacher conferences are offered once a year to discuss your child’s progress; if a parent cannot attend, a written report will be provided.

Daily contact between parent and teacher is a very important part of The Sandbox program. By sharing information concerning your child’s activities and welfare, we can work together to meet your child’s needs. If there has been an unusual or special circumstance during the day, this information will be passed on to the parent verbally or in a written note.

The Sandbox Learning Center also requests that parents share any important news with us, to help us better understand changes in your child’s behavior. Parental involvement, participation, and observation are encouraged as it is necessary to the continuing success of the program. Parents who have their child enrolled in the program may visit any time during the hours of operation, particularly during special family events and activities. The Sandbox welcomes comments, concerns, suggestions and involvement of any kind.

In the event of a divorce, separation, or joint-custody ruling, every effort will be made to treat both parents equally. Without legal documentation on file, the staff cannot act as though one parent is more fit than another to the legal rights to their child.

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The Sandbox has an “open door” visiting policy; visitors who are not known to the staff are asked to provide identification for security purposes. Any parent who wishes to visit their child or join their child for lunch may do so; we just ask that you coordinate this with your child’s teacher beforehand. We strongly encourage parents to “keep their date” with their child if they have promised to do so.

Other relatives are certainly welcome to visit your child at The Sandbox ; please tell them not to be offended if we ask for their identification on more than one occasion. The Sandbox staff tries hard to remember all family members of our children, but we prefer to err on the side of safety if our memory fails us!

At the time of enrollment, parents must provide us with the names and telephone numbers of persons authorized to bring/pick-up their child; it is the parent’s responsibility to notify The Sandbox of changes in this authorization. If someone other than the authorized person is to pick-up your child, you must notify us in writing, and know that photo identification may be requested. We will release children to authorized persons only. Copies of legal documents must be provided to the Director before any staff person can actively prevent a non-custodial parent from picking up a child.

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No Smoking and No Pets

The Sandbox Learning Center is a smoke-free facility and we do not permit smoking on the property. We also cannot allow family pets to enter the facility, even if they are little puppies.

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Data Privacy and Confidentiality

The only persons permitted to see your child’s record will be the parent, The Sandbox staff and legal representatives and state licensing specialists. Teachers and parents may discuss home life and different aspects of child-rearing in discipline, feeding, toilet and sleeping habits to share an understanding of the child and what is developmentally normal. Teachers may give parents specific ideas for promoting a child’s healthy development at home, at times offering handouts and literature as resources.

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Feedback and Grievances

The Sandbox believes that the most positive, emotional environment exists when parents and staff work together as partners. Over the years, parents have provided us with valuable input which has assisted us in continually improving our program. We encourage and respect parent feedback so that we can provide the best early childhood experiences for all children. If you have a concern or complaint, we ask that you contact the Director immediately to solve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction. We also appreciate any suggestions, questions or comments that you may have.

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